The Media Learning Curve: More on the Doris Burke Experience


Following up today’s media column on Doris Burke (linked here), more of her talking about her approach to the job of being in a unique position — a female doing NBA games — with photographic evidence that she does know how to smile (the secret: ice cream):

== On whether the fact she’s a woman in this men’s TV world is still a story: “I think it’s still a story, but I don’t know how much longer. For not just a male but for a female, it’s still an unusual circumstance to hear a woman on an NBA game other than in the sideline role. It’s not something that happens with great frequency, but it doesn’t surprise me. I’m not offended. ”

== On the dynamics involved in how a male viewer comes to accept a female broadcaster on a live sporting event: “That’s an interesting discussion and I really think it might be a generational situation. I was at a Big East media day in October, and Jim O’Connell (long-time Associated Press basketball writer) stopped me — and it wasn’t far removed from last spring when I was doing color on NBA games — and he made a point to tell me: ‘I think it’s important that I tell you from someone of my generation, while I found it strange to hear your voice the first few times, as I listened I thougth you did a good job.’ For someone like him so is so respected, that made me happy. Another time recently at the Hall of Fame in Springfield (MA), when I was there for Dick Vitale’s induction, (Detroit Pistons GM) Joe Dumars said he enjoyed listening to me. Those kind of things mean something to me. I think it’ll take time and the more it happens, then generationally, it’ll change and become less unusual. It’ll take its natural course and get to the point where it’s simply not talked about.”

== On whether she has discussions with her bosses about the advancement of female sportscasters: “Between my work schedule and my two kids, those aren’t the disucssions I have (with them). I try to be prepared and see where that takes me. I was told recently that there’s a female who’s being considered for the Charlotte Bobcats fulltime color job, Stephanie Ready (linked here), and those kind of things make me excited. Progress is progress.”

== On what kind of feedback she gets from her kids: My son Matthew texted me from the golf course today and said, ‘Nice job last night.’ I know his friends say some things to him about occasionally seeing his mom on TV and for the most part I think they’ve been positive. I always worry about the reaction his friends have. I don’t want to make life for a 14-year-old any more difficult than it has to be.”

And a quote from Bob Rauscher, ESPN’s vice president of NBA production: “We believe Doris’ commentary and analysis resonates well with our audience. She has a deep knowledge of the game and an ability to articulate her insight in a meaningful way, qualities which are paramount in broadcasting.”

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